Over the last few months Ive waivered from feeling like were not doing enough to feeling like were doing too much. Back and forth! But bottom of my heart I feel the words keep coming to me simplify, simplify, simplify.
Ive done this by reducing the kids learning time to the simplest form that I know how
- Discipleship studies, Discipline studies, Discovery studies, Delight studies (these words are taken from Sally Clarksons book, Whole Hearted Education)
- Im working from a list not a chart which means we do the next thing rather than keeping up with lessons that were planned to be done by a set time
- Im recognising seasons in our year and allowing that to affect our studies.
We have formal learning three days a week Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Thursday the girls have Mainly Music, a community project so Daniel and I have some one on one time, then I work in the office. Friday is for either our monthly co-op, or one on one time with me where I do a Bible study with each of the children and they do desk work (either independent work or catch up on things they may have left undone.)
Afternoons have their plans as well but those plans chop and change and are a bit complicated to list in a blog about simplicity!! But we fit in the following type of activities:
- Swimming (this is a seasonal opportunity)
- work opportunities (or training for those opportunities)
- delight projects (mostly creative/hands-on projects at this stage)
- social times, quiet times, relaxing times.
When wanting to simplify it is easy to just react and dump it all just do life, roll on from one family activity to the other, assured in the understanding that they are learning. This is okay for a season but if we are to be educating the whole child we must be educating their minds too. Educating their minds includes the skills that the world expects them to know in order to function language skills (listening, speaking, writing, reading), math skills (number facts, problem solving), thinking skills (assessing, reasoning, comparing, coming to conclusions) we believe (Peter and I) that our children also need to have a broad general knowledge about the people and the world around them. So when I set out to simplify I cant just ditch all academics I have to simplify and keep within the guidelines of my goals.